Why does 上がったり mean doomed business etc. even if in 上がったり下がったり it means going up/improving (as does 上がる)?

Is it shortened from a longer phrase or something? Thanks

  • Where did you get the sense that 上がったり means "doomed business"? Could you provide any context, or the source you used? Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 23:34
  • 2
    @EiríkrÚtlendi they're referring to this word weblio.jp/content/%E4%B8%8A%E3%81%8C%E3%81%A3%E3%81%9F%E3%82%8A
    – Leebo
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 23:36
  • @Leebo, thanks, ya, but that doesn't refer to a "doomed business" -- on its own, the noun sense is more like "doomed-ness", as I understand it. Without knowing more about where Jack encountered the term, it's hard to know how to address the question. Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 23:39
  • @EiríkrÚtlendi I think that's just how it shows up in E-J dictionaries
    – Leebo
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 23:40
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    I'm guessing Jack looked at this jisho.org/word/%E4%B8%8A%E3%81%8C%E3%81%A3%E3%81%9F%E3%82%8A and got "doomed business" from it, when it's like "doomed (of a business)" in that entry.
    – Leebo
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


One meaning of あがる is something along the lines of "to be finished," "to be over," "to stop functioning," etc.

This is the meaning used in 商売が上がったりだ。

"Up" can have a similar meaning in English, such as in the sentence "My contract is up in 3 weeks." It's not negative here, but the meaning of "over" is there.

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